Readers Respond & Debate
Note: Denny Hatch personally responds to all correspondence.
Readers Respond to "Making a Complex Business Consumer Friendly," which discussed the differences between Internet banking and the brick-and-mortar branch banks.
If online banking people could be trained by the folks of USAA Federal Savings Bank (www.usaa.com) on the fine art of delighting my hard nose, the need for bricks would crumble. My wife, CPT Sonia Hearn RN, serves with the 10th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. At any point on the earth, she or I can lift a phone and speak to a sunny service representative while pondering our account status online. Granted USAA requires a niche clientele, armed forces families, past or present. However, their helpful passion is tangible on the phone. They know how to serve. Every person we contact speaks with empathy and respect. It's like talking with a favorite cousin. Sonia and I are accustomed to maintaining an intense relationship long distance on the phone. Her deployment has focused our attention on the important things: our love and our nest. Thankfully USAA can be trusted with our nest. Our faith takes care of the rest.
I found your article about banking very interesting. Due to a series of bank buyouts I found myself with my personal accounts at Fifth Third Bank. When I go there in person (which is as rarely as possible) I find the employees bland and the atmosphere impersonal. They still do everything "on paper" if you can believe that and deposits aren't posted to the accounts until midnight! On the other hand I have my business accounts at a smaller local bank & trust. It doesn't matter if I go in every day or once every few months. The employers are always super friendly and most know me by name. If I have a problem or question I can pick up the phone and get assistance almost immediately. I haven't seen any coffee available but, I'm sure if I asked for it, someone would fetch it for me. Unbelievable the difference in the total experience between the two.